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Chicken Karahi dhaba style with capsicum & pearl onions

Chicken Karahi Dhaba Style

Chicken Karahi Dhaba style also known as Kadai Chicken is a fantastic spicy chicken dish that's prepped with a special house blend masala known as Kadai Masala. Stock on the Karahi masala & make this lip-smacking good chicken Karahi even quicker.
5 from 9 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chicken Karahi Dhaba Style, Chicken Karahi recipe, Kadai Chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 362kcal


For Flash Marinating the Chicken

For the Kadai Masala gravy


How to Flash Marinate & fry the chicken

  • Smear the chicken pieces with garam masala, paprika, crushed black pepper,  lemon juice & salt. Set aside while you chop the onions & bell peppers.
  • Set a skillet over medium high heat, pour mustard oil & fry the marinated chicken pieces both sides until golden.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, cover & cook for a few mins. When done set aside the chicken pieces on a clean dry plate.

How to make the Kadai Chicken Gravy base

  • Use the same pan & the same oil you fried the chicken pieces. De-glazing the pan while cooking the rest of the recipe will enhance flavors. Add some more oil if need be.
  • Set the skillet over medium heat & throw in the cumin seeds, dired hwole red chili & the bay leaves in the hot oil. Allow them to sizzle for a few seconds.
  • Throw in the chopped onions & fry until translucent & lightly golden. Add salt at this stage , it will get the onions done fast.
  • Next, throw in the chopped tomatoes and fry until they become mushy.
  • It's time to add the spices - paprika or kashimiri red chili powder, cumin & coriander powder. Saute until the raw smell disappears, the masala becomes nice & fragrant & oil begins to ooze out. You'll notice that the masala will slowly change color at this stage & begin to darken. It's a good sign.
  • Add the home-made coarsely ground Kadai masala & the ginger juliennes. Mix & saute well until fragrant.
  • Now, add the fried chicken pieces & bhuna (saute) well with the masala.
  • Add the chopped bell peppers & the pearl onions & mix. You don't need to saute much if you love crunchy capsicums in the gravy. The bell peppers will get slightly cooked in the residual heat. But if you prefer soft & well cooked capsicums than, saute for 1-2 mins more.
  • Garnish with kasturi methi or dry fenugreek leaves, sprinkle garam masala powder, add some more kadai masala powder & throw in some ginger juliennes. Mix every well for about 1 min or so.
  • Turn off the heat & serve hot. Enjoy!



  1. Measuring cup used, 1 cup = 240 ml & 1 teaspoon = 5 ml.
  2. Bhuna The masala well until the oil oozing stage is reached.
  3. DO NOT skip the home-made KADAI MASALA. I've a whole awesome post & a video on Kadai Masala only for you guys. So, I would highly recommend that you make your own Karahi masala at home because no store-bought version can beat its taste!
  4. Flash marinating the chicken & frying it adds tons of flavor to gravy & the chicken also gets cooked almost 80%. So, that's an added bonus.
  5. You may skip adding the pearl onions. Or if you want to add raw pearl onions just add them while you bhuna the masala or when you add those tomatoes, so that the onions get some extra time to get cooked. I added pre-cooked & frozen pearl onions.
  6. If you prefer soft & well cooked bell peppers do cook them for 1-2 mins more. We prefer crunchy peppers & this recipe contains crunchy peppers, they are not raw but slightly cooked with the crunch factor all intact. The residual heat helps them to get just cooked enough.
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Karahi Dhaba Style
Amount Per Serving
Calories 362 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 62mg21%
Sodium 149mg6%
Potassium 786mg22%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 2125IU43%
Vitamin C 166.6mg202%
Calcium 68mg7%
Iron 3.3mg18%
* Read our privacy policy - Calorie information is provided as a courtesy only and should be leveraged as an estimate rather than a guarantee.Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 786mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2125IU | Vitamin C: 166.6mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 3.3mg